Uprooting the canker of corruption

Institutions should work together to tackle the menace of corruption rather than just consider it as a social evil.

Zahid Gishkori January 01, 2011
According to media reports, in the last four years our politicians, bureaucrats and some top military officials have usurped an amount of Rs600 billion, which is four times the size of this fiscal year’s total development budget.

The media incessantly reports instances of corruption in various institutions, publishing hundreds of stories involving government officials. This has remained a dominant trend of our print and electronic media during the last four years.

In response, the government has been claiming that it will do its utmost to rid the nation of the canker of corruption.

The Supreme Court also took a firm stance against this omnipresent menace making several important rulings.

Unfortunately, corruption reigns supreme regardless. Even implementation on various judicial verdicts concerning this vice has been less-than-exemplary.

Be that as it may, the media continues to unearth mega scams (the Karachi land scam worth Rs450 billion stands out as an example).

However, the question remains, do the stories published by the national media follow laws and ethics? If there is, in fact, any truth to them then why does the government not respond to the allegations?

Being a journalist, I find it hard to understand this dilemma which is a constant subject of debate in our TV shows. Is highlighting corruption rather than showing the lack of action on the government’s part the only obligation of the media?

The incumbent government has claimed to knock out corruption from government offices many times, but these claims appear a mere lip-service.

Personally I feel that there exists a general presumption amongst Pakistanis that corruption has penetrated deeply into our blood, to the extent that it’s not surprising anymore.

Institutions like the judiciary, executive and media as well as departments like the police, National Accountability Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency, Auditor General of Pakistan and Public Accounts Committee should work together to tackle the menace rather than just consider it as a social evil too deep-rooted to be stamped out.
Zahid Gishkori
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